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The big difference between Princess Kate and Princess Anne

The Princess of Wales and Princess Royal differ in one major way

Princess Anne and Princess Kate receive flowers as they leave the RCM and RCOGs headquarters on April 27, 2022
Diane Shipley
Senior Online Writer
14 June 2023
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Princess Kate and her aunt-in-law Princess Anne get along well, as they demonstrated when they attended their first joint engagement last year.

 However, the royals typically approach meeting the public very differently. 

While the Princess of Wales has often been spotted shaking hands with royal fans during walkabouts, the Princess Royal was raised with the idea that it's better not to, following in the footsteps of her late mother, Queen Elizabeth II. 

WATCH: Princess Anne and Kate Middleton unveil plaque on first ever joint visit

Princess Anne explained her approach in an interview a few years ago, as part of an ITV documentary called Queen of the World, which aired in 2018. 

Princess Kate and Princess Anne visit The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists on April 27, 2022 © Getty
The duo visiting The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on April 27, 2022

Reflecting on how meeting the public has changed since she became a working member of the royal family, the mother-of-two said: "I mean we never shook hands". 

Princess Anne, Princess Royal and Catherine, Princess of Wales, visit the RCM and RCOG headquarters in London on April 27, 2022 © Getty
The pair's rare joint outing took place last April

She went on: "The theory was that you couldn't shake hands with everybody, so don't start. So I kind of stick with that, but I notice others don't."

Princess Anne, The Princess Royal and Catherine, Princess of Wales watch the racing at Ascot© Getty
The royals watching the racing at Ascot in 2016

Referring to younger members of the royal family, Anne added: "It's not for me to say that it's wrong, but I think that the initial concept was that it was patently absurd to start shaking hands. 

"And it seems to me that it's become a shaking hands exercise, rather than a walkabout, if you see what I mean. So that has changed." 

The Princess Royal during a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace© Getty
The Princess Royal meeting the public at Buckingham Palace

The Prince and Princess of Wales also appear happy to pose for selfies when they meet the public, but Princess Anne is less keen. 

The late monarch's only daughter continued: "I'm glad I'm not starting now, because at least you had people to talk to, and now you don't really. Phones are bad enough, but the iPads, you can't even see their heads. You don't know who you're talking to".

The Princess Royal during a Garden Party in celebration of the coronation © Getty
Princess Anne prefers not to shake hands with royal fans

She went on: "And I do get slightly, I either don't bother, or just say 'Look if you want to ask, you know, meet somebody, I suggest you put that down.' It is weird, as people don't believe that they've experienced the event unless they've taken photographs. And usually you're standing immediately in front of them." 

The late Queen was also encouraged to not shake hands© Getty
The late Queen was also encouraged to not shake hands

Queen Elizabeth felt the same as her daughter when it came to technology use. In 2014, US ambassador Matthew Barzun revealed to Tatler that the Queen considered it bad manners for well-wishers to be looking at a screen when she made public appearances. 

LOOK: The Prince and Princess of Wales surprise well-wishers in Windsor

"She was essentially saying: 'I miss eye contact,'" Matthew said, adding that she found the selfie trend "disconcerting" and "strange". 

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits LEYF (London Early Years Foundation) Stockwell Gardens Nursery & Pre-School on January 29, 2020 in London, England.© Getty
The Princess of Wales is happy to shake hands

Kate delighted fans earlier this year, however, when she posed for a series of selfies in the changing room with the England rugby squad, although they weren't all as flattering as her typical photo shoots. 

Princess Kate smiles as she departs after hosting a roundtable with Government ministers and the Early Years sector to mark the release of new research from the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood on June 16, 2022 in London, England. © Getty
Kate also doesn't mind posing for selfies

In snapshots shared to Twitter, the Princess could be seen laughing, giving a thumbs-up and in one photo, closing her eyes just as the picture was taken! 

Kate Middleton waves as she arrives at Chelsea Flower Show© Getty
Kate waving to royal watchers at the Chelsea Flower Show

The candid images from the team's dressing room were posted to the social media site by England player Maro Itoje, who posed alongside the Princess in the first picture and captioned them: "The old camera flash strikes again [camera emoji, red rose emoji] @englandrugby @KensingtonRoyal".

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